The Corn Islands offer bare foot paradise, with relatively little development and few visitors. They consist of two small Caribbean islands (Big and Little Corn) which are fringed with coral and ideal for swimming, snorkelling and diving. These no-frills islands have a West Indian charm and character with a very relaxed pace of life.
Granada is a charming colonial city sitting on the shores of Lake Nicaragua. Elegant facades and vibrant plazas line the cobbled streets in the shadow of Mombacho volcano. The city grew wealthy as it lay on the principal route across the isthmus before the Panama Canal was built.
The colonial city of Leon is another of Nicaragua’s gems with picturesque plazas and intricate facades. A cultural capital dating back to the 16thcentury, Leon is packed with eye-catching colonial buildings and is Granada’s eternal rival.
Lake Nicaragua is often referred to as ‘the sweet sea’ by locals and is the largest in Central America. Early explorers mistakenly thought that they had reached the Pacific and were awed by the sight of Ometepe Island’s twin volcanoes rising out of the water.
The mighty San Juan River runs through an enormous wildlife reserve which is positively teeming with life. This largely inaccessible swathe of wilderness once carried Conquistadores and pirates into Nicaragua, but now lies dormant. It offers one of your best chances to see the Jaguar, Tapir and Manatee and guarantees close encounters with Sloths, Monkeys, Macaws and Toucans to name but a few.
San Juan del Sur is a scenic fishing village at the head of a horseshoe bay. The peaceful southern Pacific coast has dramatic sunsets, rolling ocean waves and tranquil beauty. Sea turtles are still regular visitors to these stretches of beach and one of the most popular nesting sites – ‘La Flor’ – is within easy reach.
Manor Cottage, Papermill Lane, South Moreton, Oxfordshire, OX11 9AH